Dodgeball is a classic playground game that has been enjoyed by generations of children. Whether played during recess, at summer camps, or in organized leagues, dodgeball provides a thrilling combination of athleticism, strategy, and fun. However, to ensure a fair and safe playing environment, it’s essential for kids to understand and follow the rules of the game. In this article, we’ll explore seven essential dodgeball rules that every kid should know. From understanding the basics of gameplay to learning important safety guidelines, mastering these rules will enhance the dodgeball experience for players of all ages.

7 Essential Dodgeball Rules Every Kid Should Know

Starting the Game

The game begins with an equal number of players on each team standing behind their respective backlines. A neutral ball is placed at the centerline, and players race to retrieve it when the game starts. This rule ensures a fair and balanced start to each round of dodgeball.

The Boundary Lines

Dodgeball is typically played within a designated court or playing area. It’s crucial for kids to understand and respect the boundary lines of the court. Stepping out of bounds results in elimination, so players must remain within the designated area while actively participating in the game.

Elimination and Retrieval

When a player is hit by a thrown ball and the ball touches any part of their body, they are eliminated from the game. However, if a teammate catches a thrown ball before it hits the ground, the player who threw the ball is eliminated instead, and the catching team can retrieve one of their eliminated players back into the game.


In many variations of dodgeball, headshots are not allowed. This rule is in place to prioritize player safety and prevent injuries. Players should aim for the body or legs of their opponents when throwing the ball, avoiding high-risk headshots.

Throwing and Blocking

Players must throw the ball from behind the designated throwing line, also known as the centerline. Additionally, players are allowed to block incoming balls with their own balls or with their hands. However, if a player uses a ball to block and the ball they are holding is knocked out of their hand, they are considered out.

Time Limits and Stalemates

To prevent overly long games and encourage active play, dodgeball rounds often have time limits. If no team has been eliminated when the time expires, the team with the most remaining players wins the round. In the event of a stalemate where players are continuously avoiding elimination, referees may enforce rules to speed up the game or declare a tie.

Respecting Opponents and Sportsmanship

Above all, kids should approach dodgeball with good sportsmanship and respect for their opponents. Taunting, aggressive behavior, or intentional rule violations have no place in the game. Emphasizing fair play and respect for all players ensures a positive experience for everyone involved.


Dodgeball is more than just a gameā€”it’s an opportunity for kids to develop teamwork, strategy, and sportsmanship. By understanding and following the essential rules of dodgeball, young players can enjoy a fun and challenging experience while staying safe on the court. Whether playing with friends at the park or competing in organized leagues, mastering these rules will enhance the dodgeball experience for kids of all skill levels. So grab a ball, get in position, and let the dodgeball games begin!